5 Trends That Had a Significant Impact on IT Operations in 2023

From generative AI to tech layoffs and an increase in cybersecurity threats, these five trends disrupted ITOps in 2023.

Christopher Tozzi, Technology analyst

December 27, 2023

4 Min Read
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Let's be blunt: 2023 was a rocky year in the world of IT operations. Thanks to widespread layoffs, generative AI, and other developments, ITOps today at least feels noticeably different in some key respects than it did last year.

That's not to say that the past year has left the IT operations ecosystem worse off than it was in January. But things have changed, and now that the year is coming to an end, it's time to take stock of the most significant developments in IT during 2023.

1. The Impact of Generative AI

Generative AI has been around in one form or another for many decades, but entered most people's radars when ChatGPT was released in late 2022. Consequently, IT operations teams spent much of 2023 wondering how GenAI would impact their work.

The short answer at this point is that, by and large, generative AI has not upended IT operations, at least not yet. You still don't need to use generative AI to be an effective IT engineer.

However, GenAI has created new opportunities for approaching certain IT tasks, such as ticketing and service management.

2. Tech Layoffs

Major layoffs at tech companies, which began in 2022, intensified in 2023, leading to newfound angst about whether working in IT operations is still a good way to land a well-paying, secure job.

On balance, it's not all gloom and doom. Not every ITOps engineer works in the tech industry, where the layoffs were centered; businesses of almost all types need IT engineers. Plus, the layoffs didn't target ITOps teams alone. They affected tech workers of all stripes. Finally, there's reason to hope that the worst of the tech layoffs are over and that 2024 will be a better year on the job market front for folks who work in IT.

All that said, there's no denying that if you work in IT, 2023 was probably the toughest year career-wise at least since the 2008-era recession.

3. Cybersecurity Threats Continued to Grow

Managing and responding to cybersecurity threats is only one aspect of what most IT engineers do, but that part of their jobs became even harder this year, as cyber threats became even more pervasive. Alongside traditional risks like ransomware, IT teams are now having to contend with massive increases in more novel types of attacks, like those that exploit API vulnerabilities. API attacks surged in 2023.

There's no reason to expect cyberattacks to abate anytime soon. ITOps teams will need to continue to collaborate with security analysts and developers around security into 2024 and beyond.

4. Platform Engineering Gained Momentum

Platform engineering, a practice aimed at automating and streamlining access by developers inside an organization to the resources they need to be productive, has existed as a concept for several years. But it continued to grow in popularity during 2023.

For ITOps teams, this is significant because it suggests that IT engineers will face increased pressure to automate the delivery of IT services to internal stakeholders. In the past, developers might have requested servers or storage resources from IT teams manually, but increasingly, they expect their IT departments to provide self-service platforms for these purposes.

5. DEI and Diversity Commitments Wane

Starting circa 2020, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) pledges became widespread among tech companies and beyond. But data suggests that companies are no longer prioritizing those commitments, although they may not be abandoning them entirely.

Budgetary concerns have slowed DEI investments in tech, for example. And the 2023 IT Priorities Survey from ITPro Today found that just 27% of IT leaders said they wanted to increase diversity among their workers. An equal share reported that diversity is not a priority for them.

In summary, 2023 brought more disruption to the IT industry due to technological changes, including most notably the introduction of generative AI. It also witnessed new disruptions on the IT career front as a result of continuing layoffs. Meanwhile, IT teams faced new pressures to keep cybersecurity threats in check and to deliver self-service platforms for internal developers. And DEI initiatives continued to see more talk than action, despite the lofty pronouncements made by leaders in past years.

About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Technology analyst, Fixate.IO

Christopher Tozzi is a technology analyst with subject matter expertise in cloud computing, application development, open source software, virtualization, containers and more. He also lectures at a major university in the Albany, New York, area. His book, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” was published by MIT Press.

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